Bank Dick
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Product Description

High on the list of W.C. Fields's achievements is this 74-minute feature from 1940, rich in his brilliantly rambling inspiration. Fields plays Egbert Sous¨¦ (pronounced Soo 'zay, of course), who manages to foil a bank robbery, tilt a glass in the Black Pussy Cafe, and marry his daughter to Og Oggilby (Grady Sutton) before the closing credits. Maintaining his usual and deliberate half-step behind the rest of the world, Fields's characteristic persona gets a truly worthy movie here that always seems, wonderfully, to be on the verge of racing ahead of him. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Best movie ever
    W. C. Fields is super funny in this movie as he playes Egbert Souse, a drunkerd who gets rich after he is tricked into bying worthless stockes that turn out to be worth thousands of dollars, and after being used as a hostage in a bank robery he drives the gettaway car in the funiest police car chase ever!...more info
  • "I offer you a heart handclasp!"
    The Bank Dick is the story of a drunken man who finds himself appointed to be the security guard of the bank after a robbery falsely paints him as a hero. This man is in no way qualified for such work, but he takes the job happily. In the midst of his job, he is swindled into investing a large sum of money that he borrows from the bank into a beefsteak mine.

    WC Fields is a very natural and understated actor in this film, whose lines seem ad-libbed and whose comic timing is well tuned. He is a likable, clumsy drunk whose antics are obviously damaging but forgivable.

    This film features other film favorites. Una Merkel plays Fields' daughter, a cute, innocent character which is unlike her usual personality. Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges plays the bartender. He is frequently in the film, but his character is not developed.

    This comedy involves many standard devices including the slow-burn, sarcastic comments, and an overall outrageous story. The background music is sometimes a hindrance to the jokes because it cheapens them rather than emphasizing them.

    Overall, however, this is a cute film....more info
  • Very funny movie
    A very, very funny movie. Fields is at his best as a incompetent drunk who twice (by shear accident) becomes a hero. His family is a nightmare. The video transfer is perfect. A real treat if you are a Fields fan....more info
  • Absolutely hilarious.
    Not only does this film feature a truly clever car chase, it is probably the first of its kind to deal with the subject of "boondoggling." Secondary characters like Mackley Q. Green ("...a man more beset by troubles, you'll never see...") and J. Pinkerton Snoopington make it worth viewing again and again. Fields deserved a "hearty handclasp" for making this one....more info
  • Beer running over your Grandmother's paisley shawl
    Field's diehard fans debate whether this film or It's A Gift was his greatest. I prefer It's A Gift, but I still love this film very much.

    Here the family relations have completely disintegrated to the point that little Evelyn Del Rio is bouncing a ketchup bottle among other things off his head. It's more a state of war with Fields as the crazy grandfather rather than Fields as the henpecked husband.

    Some of Fields's regulars are here: Grady Sutton plays Og Oggilby ("...sounds like a bubble in a bathtub...") who is not an imbecile but very much a "luddie duddie." Russell Hicks is great as J. Frothingham Waterbury,the crooked beefstake (beefsteak?) mines stock grifter. Shemp Howard (of the Three Stooges)plays Joe the Bartendar. Bill Wolfe is funny just standing there in the Black Pussy Cat Cafe and being examined by Dr. Stall. Jan Duggan is funny as the mother of the little boy with the cap gun Fields attempts to apprehend. Franklin Pangborn almost steals the movie as J. Pinkerton Snoopington, bank examiner.

    The plot? It's "...improbable, impossible" as Franklin Pangborn said in another Fields movie. It only makes sense because Fields is in it. It ends in a classic chase scene that even manages to include a 1930's scene out of the WPA or CCC. But along the way we are treated to a double noggin of his rich plays on the language and his willingness to play the rascal.

    This was one of the movies that got frequent play in the W.C. Fields
    revival of the mid to late 1960's.

    ...more info
  • I'd give it 10 stars if I could...
    This not only IS one of Fields's very best movies, it's a movie that bears repeated watching, like Citizen Kane or The Maltese Falcon. It is, however, quite off-beat, as all his best work was....more info
  • W.C. Field's best and most original comedy.
    Long before the age of "South Park" or even "Monty Python," Fields was breaking the rules of comedy. This film is not only very funny, but oddly surreal. The great comedian sets everything in a small town that is somewhere Fields could have only created. All the kids are brats, all the women are shrews, and Fields' character is kind of a moron. This film works because he is able to have a hateful attitude towards everything and everyone without losing a sense of humor towards his own drunken persona. It is just completely brillant. It's better than having a "beer river flowing over your grandmother's shawl."...more info
  • Look and Listen
    You better listen to the dialogue and enjoy a one man show. Fields was no longer a youngster when this film was made. No matter, the double entendre is in full force and the fun just never stops.

    How would anyone describe one of the funniest guys in films ever. You can do it ..dont try..and catch who wrote that screenplay....more info

  • Hillarious and weird.
    I enjoyed this film for both it's dynamic comic spirit as well as it's dynamic non-linear avante-gardists leanings as well. W.C Fields in a thoroughly contemporary ,and in someways revelatory, performance offers his own distinct views on alcoholism, misogyny, and capitalism in a manner that exceeds the confines of 1940 and perhaps even more astonishing 2000. A poet and a genuine romantic....more info
  • This is Just Too Funny
    This is the second best Fields film (after It's a Gift) and it's similar in that it casts Fields as the lovable drunk with an absolutely hateful family. From the almost surreal episode directing the movie to the eye-poppingly ridiculous chase scene, this one is pure comic entertainment. One side note: it's sad and not a little scary how bloated and tired the Great Man looks in this compared to just six years earlier when It's a Gift was released...more info
  • He was one of a kind, and this is one of his best. Lots of laughs
    If you enjoy comedy films from this era, you need to see this one. Fields is at his best, screwing things up and trying to get them un-screwed up. It's one gag after another, with lots of laughs along the way. In particular, the routine where he's trying to explain the investment to his future son-in-law had me cracking up.

    Yes, the film is very dated. The stunt double driving the car at the end looks nothing like Fields, and there is some racial stereotyping typical in films of this era. But give the film a chance and I think you'll find most of it holds up well after all these years. Fields was a truly original character, just about everything the guy says is funny. Good entertainment. ...more info
  • The Bank Dick
    A classic. Absolutely great. W.C. Field's best feature. He is a liar, a coward, a drunk and a bully. Tons of one-liners and physical humor. One of the ten funniest movies of all time. And one of the last great comedies ever made. Shemp Howard is in this too, as an added bonus!...more info
  • NO synch problems on Criterion DVD
    First of all, this is one of the funniest movies ever made. There is not one scene that isn't hillarious. As for one reviewer's comment that the sound and picture are out of synch, this is almost certainly a problem with the player's DSP chip (see Sound & Vision magazine's article on this; Sony knows all about it).

    The Bank Dick stands tall, even amongst Fields' other brilliant movies, You're Telling Me and the sensational Its A Gift. Our hero, Egbert Souse (pronounced "Sue-Say") has a Married With Children existence--until he accidentally foils a bank robbery.

    The Bank Dick has my all time favorite Fields line: J. Frothingham Waterbury, a stock swindler, says "I want to show you I'm honest in the worst way!".

    Fields also paints a less than flattering picture of miserly bankers, the rich, and people who only treat you well when you have money. What makes this so funny, of course, is, its mostly true!...more info

  • Riotously funny
    W.C. Fields was not only the funniest man ever to appear in movies, he was a great actor, too. Some of his finest (and funniest) acting is contained in "The Bank Dick" as Fields plays straight man to a variety of miscreants, hostile natives, hateful family members, establishment types and others fully worthy of his misanthopy. Priceless scenes include his barroom soliloqueys (with Shemp Howard), his debut as a "director," and his visit to a "grateful" bank. Splendid!...more info
    The world of W.C. FIELDS is a very peculiar one ; it is filled with clouds of smoke and empty bottles, with terrible children deserving to be lashed to blood and with nightmarish wives and mother-in-laws. Always ready to help his fellow companions, our poor hero must also cope with heartless bankers and dishonest crooks (yes, they exist ! ).

    If you are a movie lover, this particular world deserves a royal place on your library's shelves, W.C. FIELDS playing, in my opinion, in the same league than Buster Keaton, Charles S. Chaplin, the Marx Brothers or Jerry Lewis. The League of the Champions of the Absurdness.

    Nevertheless, the price of this Criterion release, without bonus features, except for english subtitles, could discourage the average amateur. THE BANK DICK lasts only 74 minutes but offers two or three scenes worthy to appear in an anthology of the best comic scenes ever filmed. I specially loved the car chase, involving three cars, a motorcycle and a W.C. FIELDS destructing his car while driving at 70 miles per hour. But dialogs are also extremely funny, completing the pleasure that you are certainly going to have with one of the Masters of comic movies.

    A DVD dedicated to mother-in-laws....more info

    Fields wrote the screenplay (using an alias) and stars in this zany comedy about a man who accedentally trips a bank robber and winds up as a guard. Field's last major role is a classic, a worthy end to his great career. Side two of the laserdisc is in CAV format, which allows single frame access to the frenetic cops and robbers chase sequence. The sparkling supporting cast includes Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Jessie Ralph, Franklin Pangborn and Shemp Howard....more info
  • The Bank Dick
    Though his work is not to every taste, I view Fields as a comic genius right alongside Chaplin and The Marx Brothers. Along with "It's A Gift", "The Bank Dick" remains Fields's most sustained piece of hilarity. A brisk outing at just over 70 minutes, the film strikes an ideal balance between plot intrigue and broad action, as Egbert foils bank robbers, invests in a beefsteak mine, and save his prospective son-in-law's job. The immortal Franklin Pangborn is superb as a bank examiner victimized by Souse....more info
  • Sync problems on "The Bank Dick" DVD
    Buyers beware! I Purchased The Criterion Collection DVD of "The Bank Dick" and found the video and sound to be both excellent - except that about halfway through the film the sound and video go several frames out of sync and remain that way through to the end. This unfortunate defect ruins what is otherwise an excellent transfer. I hope Criterion corrects this and does a reissue soon....more info
  • fields at his best
    this is fields in top form! this is one of his best offerings of the movies he made. well written by fields,(under the name,mahatma kane jeeves)and performed as only he can do.this one is a must for any wc fields, or classic comedy fan...more info
  • Is that thing loaded???
    Sure, its one of The Great Man's best movies, but wher are the Paramount classics, Man On The Flying Trapeze and The Old Fashioned Way??
    These two Fields movies sum up his character better than any of 'em!...more info